"House and Sea" - 8x10, gouache on canvas panel
What is gouache? Pronounced "gwash," gouache is opaque watercolor. Like watercolor, it is thinned with water, but to a creamy consistency, rather than to a thin transparent wash. It has traditionally been used by illustrators because its matte finish reproduces very well for print media. However, it has been used as a fine art medium since the 16th century, when Albrecht Durer used it to paint the hairs on his famous rabbit. I love working with gouache because it is easy to manipulate, correct and clean up. Actually, what I use is "acrylic gouache," made by Holbein, that contains enough acrylic medium to dry the paint to a hard, permanent film. This means I can paint one layer of color over another and the bottom layers won't lift off. The paint also dries to such a durable finish it can be framed without glass, like an acrylic or oil painting. Several manufacturers now make acrylic gouache and it can be found readily through online art suppliers.